"The doctor told the parents to say goodbye. Their daughters had spent the year since their birth facing each other like mirror images they couldn't escape. Identical twins joined at the belly, each with 2 arms and 2 legs, individual hearts and digestive tracts, but sharing a liver. Shortly after Fatima and Mishal turned 1, though, their family brought them from their poor town in the Swat Valley of Pakistan to oil-rich Saudi Arabia for a rare and risky separation surgery that would radically change their lives. "I still have doubts, and I am scared," said their father, Nisar Ghani, 45, as the doctors wheeled the girls toward the operating room. "In the end, it is all up to God." The operation, which the photographer @sergeyponomarev documented in March, was part of a long-running Saudi program to separate conjoined twins who come from poor families around the world. It's driven by a mix of royal largess, Islamic charity and shrewd public diplomacy. Visit the link in our profile to read on and to see more photos by @sergeyponomarev." By nytimes on Instagram.
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